The island of Madagascar got its fame not only because of the eponymous cartoon, sandy beaches, and extinct volcanoes, but also for its precious stones. Almost every resident of the island wants to find here a large sapphire. According to statistics, 19 out of 21 children living near the mine are engaged in production of sapphire sapphires, with his family.
The technology is simple: pit dug in the ground (well) with a diameter of about 60 centimeters, and as soon as he reaches the productive layer, digger begins to pass drift (a tunnel). That's the danger, because they just sleep in the tunnels. The depth of the pit can be up to fifty meters (rarely), and an average of 20 meters - 25.
From this pit, the surface of the rock climbs, which immediately screened to remove the unnecessary large size stones. Then, remaining after sifting rock, wash. To this end, it shall be driven or the river, it is washed and washed - look out for rocks.
Usually it is a family business. Husband digging wife insures.
On our arrival, "miners" intensified. Note watermelon hat. They are small and very tasty. It usually food for the whole day.
Diggers often killed by landslides.
Pit fall asleep, it stuck a stick with a rag and begin to walk around with a photo of the deceased (if any), to collect money for the family. Pull on the body surface are generally not possible.
If the land owner does not give a proper rebuff "black diggers", then after a while, a lot of those going.
For example, there was a rumor that just a couple of days ago digger Rakuten, found the stone, for which he was given a jeep, as immediately begins to gather a crowd.
Parlimentaire sent a powerful automatic argument.
I must say - no aggression. We arrived and talked, dispersed.
The fact that all these people have a vague notion of what is private property. They genuinely do not understand why you can not =)
Brigade cover. These, protect those of others =)
Actually that's so, look stones after washing "special solutions».
Local rural village TEENS.
Typical village where they live, "Black diggers", on the island of Madagascar.
Riding on a tractor Madagascar - brought a lot of fun =)
In Madagascar career I spent only two days, many did not have time to look, many people do not have time to steer, but had to leave to look as selling the stones on the market.
We strongly recommend not to try to do it without a "specially trained people».
Province Fianarantsua. In 1998, then we found the first sapphire. Since then, the population has grown to 60 000 people.
Police conventional, almost all arms.
It is here that attracts those who want to buy or sell precious stones. It is here that are created and dreams crumble and multimillion-dollar state. From here, there is a stream of rocks in Sri Lanka and Thailand, and from there to the jewelry shops of the best houses in London and Paris.
The town is a house that lined the road to Tulear. You can drive by and do not even guess that behind the walls of the houses are scatterings of stones on the many millions of dollars.
In addition to stone, then you can buy any tool or technique to develop a small shaft of the oil lamp to the excavator.
And do not be afraid to look a little strange European view of the city, I can assure you that the "children" all is well. Just as they live.
Our goal is to see how the sale of sapphires party intermediary.
It Omar. He will be our guide in this weird place. Omar, a native of South Africa. One of the best specialists in the rocks on the island of Madagascar.
Pre-selection of a few stones to display.
Omar lives like this. It is a little worried. The house is clean, no smells, the food is very tasty. I tried.
Market. All for "Black diggers».
Ilakaka. On the horizon, the National Park 'Isalo ».
Intercity bus. Route - Antananarivo - Tulear.
The ruined prospector, it may be the owner of the mine. Stones like lucky.
Walk on the market. In the course of our movement, Omar offered just dug stones. As a rule, the quality is not very good.
Thai firm to develop. Thais traditionally considered the best organschikami.
Beginning of work. The advent of the white man is of great interest, because there is not = white), not at all.
Aunt brought the stones that dug their husbands.
Immediately, there are buyers. Who bought the stones, and then again resell.
Happy guy. Having sold the stone to match head, it can be many days to live comfortably, naturally their understanding.
Immediately sell diesel fuel for generators and tractors.
A potential buyer of the Party of stones found.
A little bit of bargaining.
We were invited to the "office" to the buyer to check the quality of the stones, but it is not the whole party.
Here is the rough stones, to meet such - and I thought that a glass =)
Each stone, flashlight checked for cracks and bubbles.
The buyer interested. We go back into the house of Omar, in order to show the rest of the stones.
We were down.
Showing the whole party.
All of the new check every stone.
Everything is arranged. Everybody is happy. The party rocks on the left in the packages "was attached».
Unsorted by color stones.